After a shakeup among his attorneys and a bad weekend for Richard B. Spencer, the booking agent for the racist “alt-right” front man has dropped a lawsuit seeking to force Ohio State University to host a speech.
The notice of dismissal by Cameron V. Padgett, a Georgia State University student who schedules Spencer’s appearances at universities, came Tuesday, one day after Spencer spoke at a poorly attended appearance at Michigan State University.
The move also comes just days after Padgett’s original attorney, Kyle Bristow of Clinton Township, Michigan, withdrew from several cases against universities.
Padgett’s new attorney, alt-right adherent James E. Kolenich of Cincinnati, told The Associated Press that Padgett made the decision to drop the Ohio State lawsuit, but will continue with litigation against the University of Cincinnati.
Padgett also has a lawsuit pending against Penn State University, although there have been no new filings in that case since October.
The University of Cincinnati lawsuit seeks to have the school cover security costs for Spencer’s speech. Michigan State agreed in a settlement to arrange for security for the speech, provided Padgett pay $1,650 to rent the facility.
Spencer’s Michigan State appearance on Monday, held at an agricultural pavilion that recently played host to a rabbit show, was marred by fights outside the arena between Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) members and anti-racist activists and broken up by police. Only about a dozen supporters presented tickets to hear Spencer make a routine, if slightly more militant than usual, speech.
TWP chief Matthew Heimbach posted on Gab, the alt-right social media platform, about the Michigan State speech: “Our speaker spoke at "your" campus. We picked your best fighters up and threw them around like rag dolls until the police stepped in to protect y'all, and we even captured your flag, f------.”
Spencer’s ill-received university speaking tour has been marked by lawsuits against Auburn University and Michigan State along with violent encounters outside the speech in East Lansing, Michigan and at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Along with the chaos at Michigan State, a conference and party planned by the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas never got off the ground over the weekend.
The gathering had been billed as an event that would feature Spencer, TWP leader Matthew Heimbach and others, along with alcohol, karaoke and a DJ. But, after having several venues cancel reservations for the group upon discovering the nature of the gathering, FMI ended up at a private home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.